29/08/2014

The August Garden

Yeah! If you made it here then it means you discovered my new web address, I am now officially bloomsnspades.blogspot.co.uk. It's nearly the end of August and I can't believe how quickly this month has flown by! I have spent more time working in the garden this month than any other this year, mainly thanks to my major overhaul. As Mr Blooms 'n' Spades says, once I get an idea in my head there's no stopping me until it's finished. My poor aching back and neck would agree!

So onto the August overviews of the garden. One part I haven't featured very much is the raised fish pond. It's a 100 gallon wooden pond that sits on my patio and we've had it for a number of years now. I'd highly recommend one to anybody who doesn't have the room for a pond in their actual garden. The maintenance is minimal and you just can't beat the sound of running water while you're sitting enjoying the sunshine with a nice cool drink.


And better than just listening to the water is watching the fish swimming around, it becomes quite mesmerising and I often find half an hour has slipped by and I've just been gawking at them in a trance. There are about 26 in here, including some little babies.



Last year, I messed up the pond a bit by painting it with a wood protector that I was told was fish friendly. Turns out it might be fish friendly, although I have my doubts now, but it's definitely no good for wood that's been pre-treated. All it did was sit on top of the wood and each time it rained I'd lose more and more of it until the surface looked awful and streaky. I kept staring at it thinking, I really must do something about that, and on Tuesday, when it was pouring with rain and fairly chilly, I decided to don my marigolds and scrub it all off. It took me about 2 hours, but it is now back to it's natural wood state and looks much better. Remind me not to paint everything in sight next time please!

A task I tend to do yearly is lifting the stepping stone path. When they've been walked on for months they sink a bit, so lifting and re-setting them helps redefine the path and make it easier to walk on. I also give them a good scrub to get rid of surface soil. A task I again completed in the rain...I must be crazy!



People often ask why I don't just lay a fixed path to make life easy for myself. The reply, I'm just too fickle and know I would change my mind about it and then be stuck, plus, I love the little stepping stones :-) .



There are only spits and spots of colour in the garden at the moment, it's mostly just green thanks to all the gaps from plants I've hoiked out. I got rid of the two giant sedums along the border that I said I was going to keep until I got replacement plants. In for a penny in for a pound as they say, no point in waiting. 







I've made a plan of how I want each area to look and have a list of plants to buy as long as two of my arms and a leg (my arms are short) and am growing lots on to try and save money. The coldframe is just as heaving as the growhouse, and my patio table is housing the overflow. 



The table is being replaced as soon as the sales start and the new set I want is reduced, as this one has succumbed to rot. I do love wood in the garden, but it's such a nuisance to maintain. Actually, this whole area is getting a makeover next year. See my neighbours lovely bit of brown creosote dripping down my 'not long painted' green fence! Grrrr! Still, better than last year when they sprayed the fences and managed to get it all over my house, patio and garden! I'm thinking of bamboo screening around the patio area fences next year.

For anyone interested in finding out the size of my garden, I finally got around to measuring it and have added the details HERE. It's teeny, but it's all mine :-) .

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44 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking fabulous. I love the fish pond, what a great solution for those without the space for a sunken pond, it's quite the feature too. I love your stepping stone path too, worth all the hard work as it looks wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Jo. The pond is perfect for a small garden like mine, so glad manufacturers come up with great products like these.

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  2. I love your path, who could resist walking down it to see where it leads?
    You have some gorgeous fish. They look very healthy despite the wood preserver!

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    1. Yes, fingers crossed I've managed to get rid of all the preserver now. I'm so glad it didn't affect them at all.

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  3. What a beautiful garden you have, and I was particularly happy to see that fish pond. My little pond is one of the favorite features of my garden. I love sitting beside it and watching the goldfish and the many dragonflies and frogs that visit it.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy. I saw a huge dragonfly in the garden yesterday, it was like a mini helicopter!

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  4. So pretty, and I love the picture of your colorful fish!

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  5. I can relate to the spits and spots of colour. But think how good it will look next year with everything growing, in the right place and just as you want it. That's what I keep telling myself..

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    1. I know Jessica, is it bad to be willing next year on so I can see if my plans have worked ;-) .

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  6. My back garden which is very shady has just spits and spots of color, but the front is blazing with hot colors right now. I love your little fish pond, I had one in a previous garden, and I miss the fish, they were so much fun to feed and watch.

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    1. They always come up together when it's feeding time Alison, they only have to see my shadow and there they all are!

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  7. I love your stepping stone path, too, and would prefer the flexibility that come with it in terms of changing the design over a more permanent path solution! The path in our front yard leading up to the door of the house is made of out poured concrete (was put in by the previous owners) and even though it has a nice curvy shape I would love to change it somewhat, but of course I can't :-(.
    It is completely mind boggling to me how many plants you are growing on. That shows a real gardeners determination :-)! I am sure when they are all planted out in the garden it will look stunning! Wishing you a nice rest of the weekend!
    Christina

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    1. I know what you mean about the concrete path Christina. There is concrete border edging around my garden put in by the previous owners and it would just be too much hard work to lift them all. I have to try and cover it with plants so it doesn't show. Much nicer to have things you can move around if the fancy takes you.

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  8. Everything looks so healthy and lush! And how nice to have your fish to add even more color to your garden. It looks like a very serene place to have a rest from all of your hard work!

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    1. I'll let you know if I ever get a rest Dorothy ;-) .

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  9. I like your stepping stones, too! I'm also intrigued by your raised wooden fish pond.

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    1. The pond is lovely, great for a small garden and it's nice to have running water to listen to when you're out there.

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  10. It is a great idea to put your pond on the patio. I bet it is nice to watch them swim around and the sound of water must surely be relaxing. I think the stepping stones do a nice job of drawing your eye down into the garden and are well worth the effort of maintaining them.

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    1. Watching fish is very mesmerising Jennifer, I lose plenty of time just staring at them.

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  11. I absolutely love your fishpond, I wish I could find space for something similar but I can’t even manage to squeeze in another small container in my garden these days. And I agree with you about your path, it is lovely to have moveable stepping stones, even if it gives you a bit of work once a year. I feel for you about the neighbour’s painting job, fortunately I have one neighbour that doesn’t do anything to their garden – including no painting, the other side I did the painting on both sides to ensure the fence got the same colour. Talk about being perfectionist….

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    1. Wow, you are good Helene, I have enough to do with painting my own fences! I think the pond I have is the smallest one they make that is suitable for keeping fish in, but I'm sure I saw a little freestanding water feature of the same style. Maybe you could squash that in somewhere?

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  12. Only a dedicated gardener works in the rain! Your garden is looking loved! It is great to have projects and plans. They keep us running. Best wishes and happy September gardening!

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    1. Dedicated rather than daft, I like that Deb :-) .

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  13. Thank you for visiting my wee bloglet earlier. It was only right n' proper that I paid a return visit :) and I'm glad I did...clearly a fellow plant-a-holic...such a relief that there are 'others' like me out there.
    Your garden's fabulous!!

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    1. Oh yes Jane, most definitely a plantaholic :-)

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  14. I'm very impressed by all the seedlings you have started! I'm sure my husband would appreciate it if I bought more seed packets and fewer nursery plants. Your garden looks wonderful!

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    1. Oh, I love starting plants Kris so I've always got trays of this and that around. It does save a lot of money although you do need to put a lot of extra work in, potting them on all the time and keeping the bugs and beasties away!

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  15. I love your stepping stones! Yes, a paved walkway might be easier to take care of, but I like the natural, whimsical look of this curved path. At least you have a path--that's still on my to-do list:) You certainly have been busy this past month; I have been very lazy when it has come to my garden, but we've had a couple of weeks of miserably hot weather, and I don't garden much when it's hot. And by the way, your garden is not teeny at all! Though I must admit, I wonder where you're going to put all those seedlings in your greenhouse:)

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    1. Lol, the seedlings are EVERYWHERE at the moment, you can't move for trays and pots, but don't worry Rose, I'll always find room for them :-)) .

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  16. Lovely photo of your fish - they do look mesmerising! Also impressed by the amount of young plants you are growing on - it all bodes well for next year! Lifting your path AND scrubbing it shows devotion beyond duty, and I could do with learning a few lessons from you in that respect!! :-)

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    1. Hopefully some of the seedlings will go out soon and free up some space, it's beginning to look like a plant nursery here!

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  17. I found you, changed all the links then forgot to comment.
    A most enjoyable post and lovely photos. Happy gardening. Flighty xx

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    1. Lol, the kind of thing I do Flighty, glad you found me.

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  18. Your garden is very, very pretty! I like all the greenery with splashes of the bright colors.

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  19. Love the stepping stones and the pond is really pretty. I wish I had your fish. I have a about three now. We have a raccoon that likes fish.)-: These last few are good at hiding though so hopefully they will make more(-:

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    1. Oh no, there's always something ready to come along and eat the poor fish isn't there. Here it is the Herons which we have to watch out for. They can eat a whole pond full of fish in a week!

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  20. Your fish are lovely! I envy your pond, and your fuchsia. They can't take our hot summers here in North Carolina.

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    1. What a shame, I would miss the Fuchsias if I couldn't grow them but you are right,they do not like a lot of heat. Not usually a problem for long here in London ;-) .

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  21. I clicked on a photo to see it larger, and then was able to see all of your photos enlarged. I love your place! I have some of those pavers, but have more space between them. I love how you placed yours! My husband claimed an oval tub I brought home from a garage sale a few years ago, and has water and a pump. He tried fish for a number of years, but something kept eating them, possibly a raccoon, so he gave up on the fish. He does put plants in it, though. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. Hi Sue. It seems those raccoons are a real problem for people trying to keep fish in the USA. Thankfully we don't have them here, but we still need to watch out for herons as they can clean out a fishpond in a few days if you're not careful.

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